Friday, November 02, 2018

No More Peterloos! Film Review of Peterloo

An excellent start to Leeds International Film Festival 2018. 5/5  Peterloo directed by Mike Leigh.

The PeterlooMassacre took place in Manchester 16 August 1819, a peaceful demonstration for Parliamentary Reform was attacked by the Yeomanry (Militia Cavalry) & later regular Cavalry. Hundreds were injured 19 dead.  It cast a long shadow the cry of 'No Peterloos' being heard in the subsequent Chartist Movement. 

Wish I had had time to do some reading before the film but alas baiting kippers, brexists, fascists, party droids neoliberals tories & fundies on Twitter does tend to take up time. Of course if nobody is prepared to argue with them the fascists will win by default & alas fascism is still rising in Europe & Amerika.

It is remarkable that not one film has been made about the Chartists. Peterloo also is a story that should be told. Mike Leigh is to be congratulated. Historical films in general that tell the story of our ancestors as opposed to kings queens & battles from the standpoint of Generals & the ruling class are a bit or a rarity.

I appreciate absolutely that a historical film cannot be a documentary, or indeed a drama documentary, it has to have a certain poetic licence while not playing dangerously fast and loose like the appalling anglophobic works of Mel Gibson. As someone vaguely familiar with Peterloo it certainly feels fully authentic.

The Sequence near the beginning with a series of magistrates dispensing a string of class justice really set the scene & set the context as did the opening on the battlefield of Waterloo with a soldier returning to his sister in Manchester.

Whenever anyone asks me who was in a film I just want to scream! One of the great things about Team America World Police by Parker & Stone was that there was a distinct lack of actors & the Hollywood stars were mocked mercilessly. In answer to one question at tonight’s Q&A Mike said he had made films before where a couple of performances have really carried the film but for this subject an ensemble performance was perhaps quite appropriate. I am inclined to agree.

Historical drama especially outdoors is costly & needs to be got right. This it would seem Mike Leigh has managed. The film also holds attention pretty well throughout. A wonderful journey into the past how we used to live and an appalling piece of our history.

The best historians as the best filmmakers are firmly focussed on the future.  At the moment at least there is a right to Peaceful Protest though with an anti human rights extremist as Premier we must be vigilant.  I am proud to have had some role in organising a peaceful protest here in the 'Desolate North' and to be part of the Greatest Pro-Democracy movement since the Suffragettes.  Onwards to the Peoples Vote & the better world that the Reformers at Peterloo struggled so hard for.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Film Review: The Square

A nice opening to the 2017 Leeds International Film Festival in the Town Hall. The magnificent Victoria Theatre pre-dating moving pictures by a number of years. So people first came to concerts in this theatre, in this town Hall, before Loui Le Prince filmed the Leeds Bridge and his Garden in Roundhey. Sorry Upper Harehills.

No spoilers. A art gallery curator has a series of misadventures that just will not go away, interacting awkwardly with the marginalised in society with his colleagues and others. Certainly a film for everyone, especially if like me you also feel on occasion, awkward with 'tramps'.

'A gated community is a very aggressive way of saying

'We are not taking responsibility for what's on the outside, we look on that as a threat'' Ruben Ostlund

I agree absolutely! Though I would put 'Community' in inverted commas if preceded by the word 'Gated'. Ruben probably would as well. True Community is about Inclusivity not Exclusion.

A good film that for the most part held my attention with some real moments. I reflect on how awkward I feel myself towards the excluded and marginalised. One excellent moment where the deep social & political message of the film came out. I think about right, better than constant propaganda of course. Perhaps it will be better with a second viewing, but in my current condition I am not tempted.

So yes for my gut feeling, good in an OK sort of way. 3/5.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Love Letter to Scotland from England

Right I really must call it a night.  I had hoped to do a Love Letter from England to Scotland, and maybe a letter to my erudite Friend Simon Gray answering his tweets (albeit no doubt in a very lazy way) but this will have to do.  So this will have to serve.

I am a British Citizen, by the Grace of God an Englishman.  I am I think by inclination a moderate Unionist, have never professed to be a Nationalist of any description and never supported the SNP.  However.  The UK is dysfunctional.  We needed a fully equal federal UK but this hasn't happened.  London is overheating as it has continued to dominate, and economic development of the Great Northern Cities is sorely neglected.

It is for Scotland to decide tomorrow to stay or go.  While many of my compatriots of varying political and other persuasions have pleaded to Scotland to stay in the UK, to me as a die-hard progressive, it seems a no brainer.  I love Scotland and if they so choose to leave the UK, they will be doing England a favour.  Think of it as a grant of Independence.

Of course we will still be in the peculiar Empire that is the European Union, there will be no Ed Milliband borders.  Unless somebody really wants them.  Goes without saying we need a very different European Union to the one we have, a people's Europe not a Bosses and Bankers Europe.  Need to Reform the EU.  Need to address the democratic deficit.

Throughout the UK we currently face a relentless onslaught of an utterly immoral Government hell bent on creating as much unemployment, poverty, destitution and homelessness as possible, driving down wages and conditions of hard working families, destroying the NHS, Social Security, the Public Sector and other things that they see as bad things.  An Independent Scotland would be a massive change and heading into uncharted territory.  But far better than Business as Usual.

Scotland Voting Yes would not in itself be an end to the tide of Rampant Thatcherism, either in Scotland, England or elsewhere.  It would however open up possibilities.  Scotland could preserve it's NHS and Social Security while the ConDems or Labour continued with their relentless onslaught in England and Wales.  But again, there will at least be opportunities to wake up England.    Not least a free and Independent Scotland has the potential to serve as a good example.

An Independent Scotland will have fair votes, proportional representation, equal votes, at all levels of government.  Alas the deeply democratic traditions and passions of England are currently dormant and deep underground.  Again, a realisation that something has to give, and something has, is highly preferable to this continued carnival of reaction.

So to conclude.  Dearest Scotland.  Please Vote Yes for the sake of your wonderful friends to the South.  At this moment in history our interests are one and the same.  If you think our interests are in the NHS, social security, jobs, peace, prosperity, democracy, rule of law and everything we have always considered to be civilization.  Independence within a European Union of Human Rights and Democracy is the best route for strengthening the ties of friendship, common heritage, and everything else that binds us together.  Go for it Scotland!!!!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Quick Conference Photoblog? Monday Morning...

well here goes, above sculpture from a motorway service station on the M1 where did have quick ciggie break on coach down to London.  Did stop with a friend next to Dollis Hill Tube station.

Here's the two Professors Molly Scott Cato and Rupert Read our lead candidates in the Euros from South West and Eastern Regions.  They will make great MEPs

Here I am with super activist Adam Ramsey

Standing Ovations for Natalie and Caroline!

Friday Evening Ents at Wagner Hall and a choir singing Lotta Continua!

Cycle transport a biggie in The Green Party

 Councillors Jason Kitkat and Liz Wakefield welcome us to Brighton, Liz having served in the Hunt Sabs, a splendid firm a splendid firm!

Chair of the Greater London Assembley Darren Johnson 

Lead candidate for Yorshire and Humber Andrew Cooper with Jean Lambert MEP

me tweeting from Conference Plenary with Andy Chyba lead candidate for Wales

the Chairpersons with Convenor of Standing Orders Committee

Cooperman with Natalie

Back in plenary

Derek Wall called to speak

Cooperman again

The Green Left  fringe on fighting Austerity, we were supposed to have had a few more chairs...

Hopefully it will be on youtube at somepoint as recorded

Derek called for more comradely discussions especially about how Green Councillors face cuts from the immoral Con-Dem administration.

Adam again

I cast my Vote.  Alas not sure I understood monetary policy.  Ooops.

Bumped into Derek in the Co-op Saturday morning he was looking for a Morning Star as he had an article in it.  I found this copy yesterday in a newsagents.

Peter Cranie lead candidate for North West with fellow candidate Cooperman.

wikid polar map above staircase of Brighton Hilton Metropole Hotel

and thats all for now folks need  get packed and out the crash

Rite better finish packing and go.

Last nite a screening of 'Drill Baby Drill!' a film about fracking in Pennsylvania and Poland hosted by Keith Taylor MEP, rite just been told I got 5 minutes to pack... more bloggin soon...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Great Fire Alarm of Green Party Autumn Conference Brighton 2013

Just before plenary session... the fire alarm went....

Bluebell get a picture you're our unofficial photographer, get picture....

So we are asked to make our way along to the assembly point which turns out to be in front of the venue which is a bit packed..

So yes, the Great Fire Alarm of Green Party Conference will be remembered for literally minutes...

No Greenies or Hotel workers were harmed in the making of this fire alarm

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside!

Made it to Brighton for Conference of the Peoples' Party!

Can I do a quick blog post before the battery on my baby laptop goes...

we had a fire alarm, pics to follow...

then just as I was about to blog... the lappy crashes anyway

so here we are

A round of applause and standing ovations for the Leader of the Real Opposition, Caroline Lucas MP, out on Police Bail.  Funny how the House of Commons is full of real criminals.

And a standing ovation of course for Natalie Bennet, ''And we will not rest until we’ve expelled every last corporate bloodsucker from our NHS!'  Way to go!!!

and Co-Chair of European Green Party, for years we have sent two excellent Green MEPs, please send more in May.  It is the European Parliament that defended the rights of National Parliaments to have a say in economic policy.

Here's two professors, Molly and Rupert both will make excellent MEPs

On the way to Wagner Hall

where the Hullabuloo Choir serenaded us 'Lotta Continua!'

to excellent veggie burgers!

more to come

with a bit of luck...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Chapeltown Carnival 2013

Have some pics of the Chapeltown Carnival from last year, arrived back in Chapeltown from Solfest just as the Carnival Parade passed bottom of Spencer Place.  Another post maybe one day.  Anyway I did drift over to Potternewton Park 'cause the spirit of JAH you know she lead you on.

then did meet Dr Anzir at Abu Baker on Roundhay Road, likesay a bit of photoblogging

Oh well enough Photoblogging? 

After carnival procession had passed us opposite Abu Baker over to Chapeltown Road to get some comprehensive pics. 

Axe the Bedroom Tax!

Austerity for the Wealthy?  for some odd reason not...

and of course International Rescue

Missing Solfest.  Not been to a festi this year :-(

Such is life.

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